I'm going to start with the pause and then brag about my day. Really just exalt over it a bit with my readers. But first, the pause.
I didn't turn on my A/C today since the day was not as hot and humid as it has been and I thought we could live without it. And our nights have been blissfully cool, so we start each day with a nice cool and fresh house. But it did get hot in the house tonight after the supper cooking was done. So when it was time for our evening devotion we gathered all the kids to the front porch. It was a lovely night for it. Dusk was just beginning to fall. The evening air was cool after the hot day, with just a slight breeze. The hayfield in front of our house was cut today, so there was a hint of the fragrance of new-mown hay all about.
Matt, Inge and I sat on the wicker loveseat, Joe sat on one of the chairs with Stella behind him, since she had been rubbing his neck and shoulders. Elsie sat in the opposite chair with Donna behind her, since Donna wanted to braid Elsie's pretty hair. Clara and Sophie were on the top step. Jeremy was standing in the remaining corner of the porch. Louisa is at work, so that was the one mar on an otherwise perfect moment. I looked at my family and felt such joy and thanksgiving over what God has given Joe and I. What a privilege to be asked to raise this bunch of children to His glory. It's humbling really, because we fail every day. But then we repent and bask in the purity of Jesus blood and righteousness. And trust in His promises of grace to our children. Their names are written in heaven.
For devotion tonight, we prayed the Lord's Prayer, and our two bedtime prayers. We sang "Children of the Heavenly Father" and "I am Jesus Little Lamb." I would have loved to stay out there longer, and sing hymns for another 1/2 hour or more with my family. But Matt gets up early for work, and works hard all day. I knew he was getting tired. I had also made a commitment earlier today to get the little ones to bed on time. So we left off after those few hymns and got the littles tucked in. The bigs and middles all went their more independent ways.
And that was the end of our pause. But it was a great way to finish off a day.
I couldn't help but remember the time our good friends, the Thompsons, spent the night at our house. If I remember correctly we had some sort of circuit doings at our church on a Sunday, and then on Monday the monthly pastor's meeting was scheduled. So Jenna and Dave and their family had a sleepover at the Abrahamsons. We put up a couple of tents where the kids slept, and had a campfire complete with smores, I think. After it got dark, we sat around the fire visiting. Then we finished off the evening with a big family devotion time and sang hymns for quite awhile. It is wonderful to have friends who build us up in God's Word and with whom we can share such moments. Happy memories, indeed.
And you know, I think we did the same thing when we visited them for our spring mini-vacation when they lived at the Schwan Center in Northwest Wisconsin. It makes me happy to think about the shared values and habits each family has and that we bring along when we come together.
And for my moment of boasting about my day, I will just say this. Yesterday was a pitiable day, but today was great. I finally braved the murky wastelands of my younger girls' bedroom. It's not done. It may not be for several days, since I have lots of re-organizing to do. But I have the floor space clean. I have the toys in the bins and the books on the shelves. I have all the trash hauled out and the dirty laundry down the chute.
I have all the "doodads" sorted. This is the collection of items I find each time I clean that I have to sort. The little things. Usually about the equivalent of several gallons of such doodads. Things like screws and nails and hairbands and tools and silverware and puzzle pieces, games pieces, and playing cards, dice and dishes and clothespins and twist ties and rulers, pens, pencils, and crayons.
I also have a largish pile of clean laundry from the various bins of stored clothing that have gotten dug through and otherwise spilled throughout the last several months of neglect. But that is one of the projects for the next several days. Now that I have the laundry mess from downstairs cleaned up, I can proceed to reorganize all the dressers and packed away bins upstairs. It's time to weed out and get rid of many, many things.
It feels good to be rolling again. I remember several months ago, when I was trying so hard to get moving. I had planned my little 28 day challenge. It didn't go so well. This old rock of my life was so firmly fixed in the inertia of imovability that I just couldn't get anything going. I think at the time I compared it maybe becoming a little bit loose in the earth, or by the end of the 28 days, just starting to shift. But it's rolling now, and gaining speed with each passing week. It is a wonderful feeling after having been stuck in the mire for so long.
Thank you, God!